LOS ANGELES — From doubles partner, to basically personal coach, former teammate and now assistant coach Jordan Brown is helping Josh Dancu play some of the best tennis of his career.
The Occidental men's tennis No. 1 took down Nick Cummins of Redlands 7-5, 6-3 while Oxy fell to Redlands 8-1 at Scholl Canyon on Saturday.
Dancu is technically putting his entire game together, but it's his mind that has him on a hot streak, according to Brown.
"I was on the team with him last year and now coaching him this year, and I can tell you it's as focused as I've ever seen him," Brown said. "He's locked in."
Dancu was named a Second Team All-SCIAC selection last season. This year he's 8-2 at Oxy's top spot with his only losses to Cal Lutheran No. 1 Moises Cardenas and Whittier No. 1 David Kostantinov.
On Saturday, he served better than he has recently and had his usually deadly forehand working.
"The key with Dancu is always going to be his forehand," Brown said. "As his forehand goes, he goes. Because he hits it really heavy, it's how he gets ahead in points. It's how he gets them on their heels. He hits it aggressively, so if it's landing, he's going to beat most guys."
He was down a break in the first and second set early and didn't let it get to him.
"He's been doing a great job all week of not letting that stuff bother him," Brown said.
Oxy head tennis coach Brian Newhall said he wishes he could take credit for Dancu's extra focus, but all the credit goes to the junior star and Brown.
"Dancu is dialed in right now and he is competitive with some of the best players in the SCIAC and in the country," Newhall said. "Brown has an incredible feel for coaching and knows Dancu particularly well from their experience as teammates and doubles partners. If only we had two coaches that were as good as him."
The Tigers continue their busy stretch of tennis. Oxy plays its sixth of seven matches in seven days tomorrow against Lewis & Clark at 1 p.m.
#15 University of Redlands 8, Occidental College 1
Mar 22, 2014 at Glendale, CA (Scholl Canyon)
|1. Josh Dancu (OXYM) def. Nick Cummins (URM) 7-5, 6-3|
|2. Tom Suchodolski (URM) def. Kevin Siebs (OXYM) 6-1, 6-1|
|3. Ted Burchett (URM) def. Eric Kazangian (OXYM) 6-1, 6-1|
|4. Teddy Jones (URM) def. Avery Chernin (OXYM) 6-3, 6-0|
|5. Gram Leahy (URM) def. Trevor Brown (OXYM) 6-0, 6-1|
|6. Jake Ly (URM) def. Jesse Kreger (OXYM) 6-0, 6-3|
|1. Nick Cummins/Teddy Jones (URM) def. Josh Dancu/Avery Howard (OXYM) 8-1|
|2. Ted Burchett/Jake Ly (URM) def. Trevor Brown/Avery Chernin (OXYM) 8-6|
|3. Tom Suchodolski/Gram Leahy (URM) def. Kevin Siebs/Eric Kazangian (OXYM) 8-3|
|Occidental College 1-10|
|University of Redlands 6-6; National ranking #15|
|Order of finish: Doubles (1,3,2); Singles (5,6,2,4,3,1)|
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